BD summons UK envoy over rights report

12 July 2021

Bangladesh's Ministry of Foreign Affairs has summoned acting British High Commissioner Javed Patel to express its "disappointment" with a recent rights report from the UK government.
The Human Rights and Democracy Report 2020 was released by the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office agency on Thursday and included a chapter on Bangladesh.
The report's description of BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia's current situation as "house arrest" was disputed by Bangladesh.
The ministry also told the acting high commissioner to "consult the concerned authorities" if there was any "confusion over such legal issues".
The ministry also added that a report from the UK government should not include "insinuating and misleading" statements regarding Bangladesh's government or its ruling party, the Awami League.
It also expressed concerns about terminology used to refer to Rohingyas temporarily sheltered in Bangladesh and their numbers.
Patel gave assurances that these views would be conveyed to the agency responsible for the report.
"The UK valued its diversified partnership with Bangladesh, and wished to continue a constructive dialogue on human rights and governance issues through the established mechanisms," Patel said, according to the statement from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Patel 'recognised' Bangladesh as a 'maturing democracy' and added that the UK government did not take sides 'with or against' any political party in Bangladesh, the ministry said.

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